Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chronicles of Belgium (& a bit of France)

So sad but my 2 weeks in Belgium will be over in 6 hours time. But, due to public demand, here is a bit more on maisha in Ubelgiji. For starters, it is quite a lovely place, as I'd said earlier. Due to the well organized infrastructure, and being the capital of the EU, Brussels is a classy place. Here are some of the sights i.e. Grand Place and the Atomium (a must visit - awesome).

Brussels isn't the cleanest of places (lots of cigarette butts dropped in every street), but I finally understood what's all the hullabaloo about road reserves, bypasses and overpasses. When you see them in good use, especially with the well organized bus and tram services, then it makes sense for Nairobi city to get a master plan ASAP.

Another nice thing about Brussels is that it's just 300 km from Paris. 4 of us coughed 100 Euros each to have the cab driver drive us there and take us round the major sites. I'm sure that Ksh 9300 will never in a lifetime deliver the whole day experience that is Paris. Travelling by road (at 150 kph) isn't that fast, but when you are in a Peugeot 807, confort is far better than economy class flight. And since there are no border checks on the roads, no meetings with nasty immigration officials. Here are a few sights:

Disclaimer: Yes she's happily married. No, I'm not running towards her. Wait, Maybe, I think...

Surprisingly, a few guys mistook me for a local both in Brussels and Paris. This evening, met two women looking for an African restaurant that happened to be across the road from my hotel. As I showed them the place, I asked them whether they were Africans, and they replied yes. Then one of them asked me my country of origin. When I said Kenya, she switched to Coast swahili! Apparently she used to work at KPA kitambo before immigrating these sides with the husband. Yaani, this world is quite small...

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 04, 2007

Young Kenyan Man in Belgium

Nilipanda ndege, nikaenda majuu!!!

Hi good people. This is what happens when a Kenyan is translated to the first world. The same short I was randarandaring with all over Nairobi on Saturday, is the same one doing rounds in Brussels on Sunday. I'm here for 2 weeks, technical training (that's what the company sent me for) and hoping to get the most out of the experience.

Apparently this flying out thing isn't everything they say about it. Of course the numerous passport checks (4 in Kenya, 2 in Belgium) were a bit too much. The flight on SN Brussels was quite smooth, considering everyone has been a bit touchy about flying lately. The stewardesses however were not the kindest (is it coz we were in economy or coz we are black?) and the food was not the best.

Brussels is a beautiful city (as the picture outside our Hotel clearly shows) and we've spent the whole day roaming the city, visiting some of the major sites such as the Grand Place. My colleagues are wholly dependent on me, being the only chap in this group of 5 who can vibe french (Thank you Lord for the strength to skuma 4 years of KCSE French) and I actually have a good command of it, or is it the pressure coz guys don't vibe english alot. Surprisingly, we overheard a group of black jamaas vibing Kiswahili, the Nairobi dialect kabisa!

It's actually quite easy to visit and the street signs and maps guarantee that getting around is a piece of cake. The prices on the other hand are another thing, especially if you keep automatically converting everything to Kenya shillings and gasping in despair! At least it's the company footing the bill...

It's the beginning of summer and the sun set after 10 p.m. which was amazing to behold (despite learning all about it in school, looking at your watch is so surreal!). My first experience with a chic hasn't gone down well, jungu chile asks me if I wanted to use the net (computer at the hotel lobby) after her, and my high school french + all the english potead!!!! Let's hope that the rest of the 2 weeks brings better tales. A bientot!!!

Labels: , ,